The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently testified against legislation regarding the liability of businesses prohibiting firearms on their premises.
SB 225, sponsored by Sen. Nick Schroer (R-O’Fallon), says any business that chooses to prohibit the possession of firearms on its premises shall assume responsibility for the safety of any person authorized to carry firearms while on the premises of the business. If a person authorized to carry a firearm suffers bodily injury or death, or other property damage, the person can take significant legal action against the business.
Testifying before the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee, Missouri Chamber Vice President of Governmental Affairs Kara Corches said the Missouri Chamber views SB 225 as a new mandate on businesses which could spur massive lawsuits against employers.
“If they opt to disallow guns in their place of business, then they are subject to new requirements and also liability,” Corches said. “With this bill, it says if you prohibit guns in the workplace then you have to do several steps, and in our view, that’s a new mandate on businesses. We believe businesses should be able to set their workplace policies as they see fit.”
Also testifying against the bill was Shannon Cooper, representing the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, who said, “I’m sure we have members that allow this and members who don’t, but our philosophy is that’s a decision that should be made by the business based on what they feel is best for their employees and customers.”
The Missouri Chamber also testified in favor of SB 343, sponsored by Sen. Greg Razer (D-Kansas City), which creates the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm for reckless celebratory gunshots.
Known as “Blair’s Law,” it is named after 11-year-old Blair Shanahan Lane who was killed by such gunfire during the Fourth of July in 2011 in the Kansas City area. It specifies that a person who commits the offense would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for the first offense, a class E felony for the second offense, and a class D felony for any third or subsequent offenses.
Corches told lawmakers the Missouri Chamber supports this bill because the stray bullets from celebratory gunfire often cause property damage to businesses. “Blair’s Law” has received bipartisan support, and it is also included in HB 301 (Roberts), which is strongly supported by the Missouri Chamber.
For more information, contact Corches at (573) 634-3511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.